Recommended by Ricardo Soltero-Brown

  • Light Switch
    27 May. 2020
    Osmundsen's play, 'Light Switch', follows Henry through a time-jumping, non-chronological array of scenes in his life, depicting vulnerable relationships which may or may not break. It's a coming-out and coming-of-age tale where Henry speaks to everyone, and relates to everything, through his vast knowledge of 19th century British literature. As people experience Henry's rendering of the present or past; a first love, potential new loves, college mates, and a mother who, like everyone, isn't sure what to do with or about Henry's autism, we wonder if he'll find love. Books aren't just a safe space, they serve Henry's world structure.
  • The Green Bullet
    26 May. 2020
    Plumber's 'The Green Bullet' hinges upon several circumstances, like the amount of time since Sarah and Matt last spoke. Plumber skillfully handles every element and constructs an exchange which is uncertain, tense, and convincing. The moment of absolution, which Sarah and Matt realize may be present, for both but differing in kind, is only imagined ever occurring publicly. Matt calls on Sarah privately, so that hurt and offence uninfluenced may influence Sarah's actions. The characters sometimes in a way betray the weight of their drama, which psychologically makes sense, else they'd collapse. Plumber's script is exceptional and brimming with potential.
  • a hit dog will holler
    26 May. 2020
    Gina's a social media activist who expresses her political commentary as art, blogs full-time from her living room, posts for-profit articles on "negrolicious" content, and sells big businesses ad space on her Lefty websites. Dru's opposite; uninterested in fame, unfazed by praise, focused on terrestrial progress, "off the grid," does gig-work to survive, and, so, folk hero. Gina sees their meeting as opportunity. Dru weathers grilling for a chance to help. A clash between philosophies and temperaments, talking and listening, screening and facing. Craig-Galván renders racism, fear, and hope into raw dramatic forms.
  • Tall Tales
    25 May. 2020
    Noah, college graduate and big city convert, returns to his Alabama hometown to live with his parents, a last resort from being unable to financially support himself after a breakup. If that doesn't scare you, escalating terrors follow. His old friends have lives of their own, some he can't help but question, shaking up their status quo, but scandal, death, and the black arts are at the heels of Noah's arrival. Turmoils of queer lives raised in the Bible belt, learned shame, and the shattered sense of home are key themes Timms perchance has written as horror - and fable.
  • Sunday Morning in AmeriKKKa
    25 May. 2020
    Kirtley's short play is unabashed agitprop theatre and, frankly, it's one of the most incensed I've ever read. So, it makes sense that it takes its cue from one of the earliest and most important American examples of the genre. Kirtley keeps the women at the center, but switches up the circumstances. In an inspired touch, Kirtley substitutes the ironic commentary of gospel music with witness testimony. The characters and action are constantly on the verge of becoming out of control, until a brutal twist of authority reveals a structured concern with deeper, more menacing, more perverse flaws of power.
  • HOLD
    25 May. 2020
    HOLD shines light on a man in a depressive crisis calling a hotline, believing his anxiety and paranoia are becoming too much for him. Carbajal does a clever job depicting the disorder these moods and ideas can wreak on a person; their essentially being personified as not just the voices in one's head, but agents that must be responded to is particularly enlightened. The dialogue certainly drums a bizarre telephonic olio, but it's also an insightful exchange of darkly comic profundity. The pain is real and vulnerable, the quest for help littered with the truest and funniest of obstacles: people.
  • JUGGLING WITH MR. FIELDS
    1 May. 2020
    O'Grady's surprising tale about connection focuses on the final years of W. C. Fields and, so, creates the opportunity of introducing the comedy titan to those unfamiliar with him, and invites those who are to ponder the man behind the nose. Fields, in the play, has become a sidelined talent, too old and too drunk for Hollywood to deal with, a Norma Desmond figure hiding in his cave, avoiding being hurt or hurting others. The relationship with "companion" Carlotta Monti and "friendship" of neighbor Anthony Quinn barely appease his self-destruction, or haunting of his past, which is soon to return.
  • The Blushing Groom
    30 Apr. 2020
    Weaver takes an age-old vow to modern task and fashions a comic drama by thoroughly mining its spiritual and secular logic, the emotional and corporeal truths. Weaver keeps his characters pursuing heavy questions, but with a light touch, and answers which surprisingly can be familiar or can't be denied, variously producing moments of affection, confusion and frustration. Sex is strange. People get something out of it. If the intimation exists, anyone might push for something from another. This play reflects that dynamic and exchange very well. There are many fine moments for actors to share, including silence, misapprehension and relish.
  • I Hate This (a play without the baby)
    30 Apr. 2020
    This is a very, very good play. Of the highest, most extraordinary standard. I'd like to recommend, now, a drama, sincerely as I can. Hansen forgoes a procedural account of tragedy, instead he structures a journey of mythic quality through grief and terror without sacrificing any elements of objectivity or subjectivity but, in fact, makes full use of both by linking specific moments in time by their sentiment or subtext, observing the various players and stages of a nightmare odyssey, revisiting them, even reimagining them, yes, dramatizing them, noting the excesses of fancy and reality. The fountain, the sparrow. Unforgettable.
  • The House That Mother Built
    25 Apr. 2020
    Ryan Bernier draws from the legacy of drag performer and fashion designer Dorian Corey - most popularly known for her involvement in the 1990 documentary 'Paris is Burning' - to inspire the dramatic, thematic and structural backdop of this spirited one-act. When four sisters meet at the apartment of their late housemother in order to claim or distribute items of the estate, such as wigs and dresses, the love for Mother's memory is pinned against present desires. This selfish conflict gets turned and dropped when a proverbial skeleton comes from a closet, and Mother's lessons test her family's strength.

Pages